Attorney at Law
I grew up in a small town of about 1,200 people on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. My parents were both working class, very hard working class, and I started work at a young age. For some reason I thought that being an attorney would make for a great career, so off I went to make it happen, and sure enough, it did. My parents supported me to the extent they could, but for the most part, it was hard work and of course student loans. I attended a small liberal arts college in New York called Elmira College, where I obtained my bachelor’s in Political Science. I was elected to various positions in student government and was active in several clubs and extracurricular activities. I fell in love in foreign affairs and foreign policy and at one point thought of a diplomatic career, but southern California and the sun of San Diego was calling my name, so I decided to stick with the plan for law school. I attended California Western School of Law, where I ultimately graduated with honors and won several awards for trial advocacy. I was awarded a partial scholarship, placed on the Dean’s List, and was a member of the school’s trial team. After graduating from law school, cum laude, I first worked at the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, in both the criminal and civil divisions, as a post-bar clerk. I thereafter transitioned to a mid-sized boutique firm in San Diego, where I learned the ropes of litigation, sink or swim style, specializing in products liability, business litigation, complex tort litigation, premises liability, and elder law. After a few years in San Diego, however, I decided to head to Palm Springs, where there is no May gray and June gloom. I have worked for several prominent firms here in Palm Springs where I acquired invaluable experience and was mentored by some great attorneys. I discovered the transactional side of the practice, including business law, real estate law estate planning, probate and trust administration. Of course, there was always plenty of litigation on my plate and that remains true today. I am an avid outdoorsman. I have hiked most of the local mountains, backpacked for days into the depths of the Sierra Nevadas, and spent many nights with the stars at Joshua Tree. My love of the outdoors started as a young boy spending weekends hunting and fishing with my dad back home in New York. There was not a weekend that went by for practically 15 years where my father and I did not partake in some fishing or hunting. Friends of mine and I, when I got older, spent countless nights backpacking and camping throughout the wonderful Adirondack Mountains. If I lay still enough today, I can still hear the chattering of the Canada geese and loons on the lakes below from where we camped. Those are wonderful memories, and I will forever cherish them. I have lived in Palm Springs now since 2005 and consider it home. I often threaten on a hot summer day to move to the mountains of Mammoth, but then October comes and I remember why I live here. Plus, having spent 23 years in the snow belt of the United States, I dread the day when I will ever have to pick up another snow shovel, though I still like to winter camp and hike in the local mountains. I have made many wonderful friends here and have had the pleasure of working with some of the finest people I know. I am a simple, practical, call it as I see kind of guy. I believe in solving problems, not creating them; and in working together, rather than tearing asunder. Yes, there are times when we must quarrel, but that does not mean we have to be disrespectful or uncivil. This is a small town, and quite frankly a small planet, and karma tells me to generally play it cool, let calmer minds prevail, and to ask myself what am I fighting for and is it worth it. Then, there are those times, when: right is right and wrong is wrong, and the litigator in me comes alive.
- 2002 California
- Richard D. Westwook Best Trial Advocate - California Western School of Law - 2002
- Best Trial Advocate - California Western School of Law - 2002
- Academic Excellence - Trial Practice - California Western School of Law - 2002
- Academic Excellence - Advanced Trial Practice - California Western School of Law - 2002